Q. What is the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT)?
A. The AIT is an intergovernmental trade agreement that came into force in 1995 by Canada’s first ministers with the purpose of reducing and eliminating barriers to the free movement of persons, goods, services and investment within Canada. Before July 1, 2011, financial services regulatory authorities were exempt from chapter seven in AIT which is about labour mobility. The goal of that chapter is to enable Canadians to work anywhere in Canada in their chosen occupation. In particular, the goal of labour mobility under the AIT is to enable an individual certified to practice an occupation by a regulatory authority in one Canadian jurisdiction to be recognized as qualified for that occupation by regulatory authorities of the other parties to the agreement.
Q. What is the Ontario Labour Mobility Act (OLMA)?
A. The Ontario Labour Mobility Act, 2009 (OLMA) came into force in December, 2009 and implements the labour mobility provisions of AIT in Ontario. It applies to Ontario regulatory authorities such as the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, the Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario and the Ontario Securities Commission on July 1, 2011. OLMA provides that an individual certified to practice an occupation in one province or territory cannot be required by an Ontario regulatory authority, as a condition of being certified in Ontario, to complete additional material training, experience, examinations or assessments, subject to a few limited exceptions, or require the individual to be a resident of Ontario.
Q. I am licensed to provide financial services in another province. Does the AIT and the OLMA mean I am automatically licensed in Ontario?
A. No – you still have to apply for a licence and fulfill all other Ontario licensing requirements. However, if you have a licence in good standing for the same occupation in another province and you want to obtain a licence in Ontario for that occupation, you may be exempt from Ontario education and experience requirements that otherwise apply. This will depend on whether or not there is a matching occupation.
Q. Is the licence fee for an out-of-province application different?
A. No. The fee is the same for all applicants.
Q. Can I apply if my licence in my home province has expired?
A. In order to be exempted from Ontario’s education and experience requirements, you must be licensed in another Canadian jurisdiction for the same occupation you are applying for in Ontario. Therefore, if you are considering giving up your existing licence, e.g. if you are moving to Ontario, it is important that you remain licensed in your home province until you receive an Ontario licence. You can still apply without a licence, but you may have to complete Ontario’s education and experience requirements.
Q. Do I require Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance or Continuing Education (CE) if I am resident of another jurisdiction while licensed in Ontario?
A. You must meet Ontario’s licensing requirements to hold a licence, including E&O and CE where applicable.
E&O may not be required for some individuals, depending on the type of licence you are seeking.
Q. I am licensed in Ontario. How do I know if my qualifications are recognized in another province or territory?
A. You can contact the regulator in that province or visit their website. Please see FSCO’s website Do you want to be licensed in another province or territory?
Q. Ontario requires that life insurance agents be sponsored for two years. I have been sponsored for one year in my home province. Will I have to be sponsored for another two years when I come to Ontario?
A. Applicants are required to be sponsored until they have two years experience. In your case, you would be required to be sponsored by an insurance company for one more year.